AL DIVISION SERIES: RAYS v RED SOX
October 6, 2013INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
TAMPA, FLORIDA: Workout Day
Q. What is the mood of the team now up 2?0, and how much confidence do you have with Clay to finish the job Monday?
JOHN FARRELL: Well, we have no idea what the outcome of the day is going to be. I know our guys are eager to get on the field and look forward to the first pitch tomorrow night. And I think that's been a consistent approach that we've taken throughout the course of the year. We haven't gotten ahead of ourselves. We haven't carried on a thought or a feeling of what has taken place the night or the series before. And I think everyone is eager to get back on the field tomorrow night.
Q. How much do you think that Stephen Drew has been sort of underappreciated for what he's done, especially the second half and what gave you the confidence to start him against lefties in the first two games?
JOHN FARRELL: If there is an underappreciation, it's probably outside of our clubhouse. He's a very good player. He's a very sound defender, an above?average defender. We know that there's been struggles against some left?handed pitching in the past, but last night him starting against David Price was not even ?? there was some consideration for Xander, but as important as Stephen has been, and as well as he's played, that was a clear decision.
Q. Can you discuss Clay's progress since he came off the DL. At this point is there anything that you see that he hasn't been able to incorporate that he had before he was injured?
JOHN FARRELL: Physically there's no restrictions. Since coming off the DL we've been able to progress him to a pitch count and comfortably get north of 100 pitches. I think there's been inconsistent command with the fastball, but nothing to the point of saying something is causing it. In other words, an ailment of some sort that's the root of it.
He's pitched free. And I think for the most part, this goes back to the first start he made off the DL, his feel to secondary pitches were more advanced than we expected after three months downtime.
Q. Over the course of the 19 regular season games many of those games with the Rays were low scoring. I think you guys hit .209 as a team in those 19 games. Admittedly, a small sample here in two games, but how to do you explain 19 runs and a .350?something batting average after so many of the games in the season were low scoring and you don't produce like that offensively?
JOHN FARRELL: You probably, in my mind, kind of answered the question a little bit that it's just two games. They're a very talented pitching staff. You can't take away from the 19 games previous. And we had struggles at times to score against them, particularly the two guys that we just faced. And I don't think tomorrow night is going to be any different.
Cobb is a heck of a pitcher, and he's been throwing well in the last six weeks. And that's not taking anything away ?? considering what he's come through is remarkable, considering how he's finished up has been very strong. We were eager to get on the field and we played with a lot of confidence through the last six weeks of the season even more so than the remainder of the year. And we're comfortable at home.
Q. You've been asked a variation of this question a million times, but is there anything about David Ortiz's presence, his walk, his talk, his attitude, his behavior, that suggests a man who's been down this walk many, many times and could you offer any specificity on that?
JOHN FARRELL: The only way I can explain it is that I'm sure that all of us in this room that have been around David for a while, he's not afraid to speak with confidence, particularly in our clubhouse and guys draw from that. And I'm sure given his tenure here, the length of his career here and the success he's had, first?year guys are going to look to him for that lead and see how he carries himself, particularly in our uniform, as a number of new faces are here. And when he steps up and does what he does last night, I think it further entrenches their confidence in him as an offensive leader of this team.
Q. Obviously the stolen base record that you have right now is impressive. But when you look overall at this team's base running, how important has it been to your regular season success and the last two games here?
JOHN FARRELL: Base running is an integral part of our maybe diverse approach to try to score runs. How we create runs, pressure we'll put on the opposition, it was a building block in Spring Training as we approached the start of the regular season, something that was a strong emphasis from day 1 in camp. At the outset we weren't afraid to make mistakes in Spring Training. We had to find our limits. And once we found the limits of the individual players, then we could kind of work and adjust accordingly.
But we've got complete buy?in from every guy in uniform, and they understand the importance of it that we have as a staff. I can't stress enough the work that Torey Lovullo, Brian Butterfield and Arnie Beyeler have in that and contribute in their own way.
Q. Going back to Clay, how much was he kind of an X factor when he got back last month in terms of maybe not knowing what quite to expect from him?
JOHN FARRELL: Personally I looked at Clay as the same as we did with David; if health was there, performance should follow. And we feel like to varying degrees it has from both guys. But Clay is getting back to the mound, we felt like if we didn't rush it and he didn't suffer another setback, it could give our rotation a huge lift, which it has.
Q. What do you remember about Clay's playoff start in 2009?
JOHN FARRELL: For first?time start in the postseason and given the wide swings that his early career had gone through, from a no?hitter in the second or third start in the big leagues to being sent down a year later, where he almost had to reinvent himself, to see him against the Angels in the day we faced elimination, he kept things in check in the 6th inning. I thought he controlled the running game well in that time. And even though it's been one start in the postseason, there's one thing to draw from, it's not like this is the first time he'll go into the postseason. There will be adrenaline, but he can look at himself in the mirror and know he's been out there one time in the postseason.
Q. I don't know what your lineup will be, will Daniel Nava be with a right?hander on the mound?
JOHN FARRELL: It's likely, yeah.
Q. How much in your mind did Fenway play into the outcome of the first two games? I don't mean the home field crowd, I mean just the dimensions? Will you do anything different for preparation for the Trop than you do during the season?
JOHN FARRELL: We'll run through the nuances of every ballpark as we do, regardless of where we're playing. So that's not going to be anything different as far as how we align ourselves for cutoffs and relays, any outfield coverage, or just the fact that it's a different surface. Our guys have got enough repetition and familiarity with the Trop here, so there's not going to be a huge change there.
But I think we've all seen that Fenway can create some interesting moments. Our left?handers have the ability to go the other way quite frequently. And they can take advantage of that wall, which I think played out in the first two games. But regardless of where balls landed, it comes back to the question earlier on the base running side of it. Our guys get a good read on it, because of the familiarity and number of games played in there and we can be that much more aggressive running the bases after a ball caroms off the wall. And I think we're able to tack on a run or two in over the first two games.